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Hopping Aboard As Rvs Take Off

Inside Wall Street


A piece of Americana is back on track: recreational vehicles--and they're hot. One sure sign: robust sales of RV supplies and accessories. Some smart investors are getting into the act by buying into Coast Distribution System (CRV), a small, little-known wholesale supplier of RV parts. It stocks 36,000 items, such as air conditioners, toilets, and awnings. These pros think the stock, trading on the Amex at 63/4 a share, is way undervalued.

The stock "is worth 15 based on its growth rate," says a New York investment manager who has a 3% stake in the company. He says growth is being boosted by expanding sales in Europe, Latin America, and Australia.

Analyst Ken Salmon of C.L. King & Associates in Albany, N.Y., says business appears to be in line with expectations. "We are more confident that our 1995 estimates can be achieved," he says. Salmon sees 1994 revenues of $180 million and earnings of 70 cents a share, up from $140 million and 53 cents last year. For 1995, Salmon expects sales of $196 million and earnings of 95 cents.

One factor that bodes well for RVs, he notes, is the aging of the baby-boom generation: The next 20 years will see a doubling of the number of Americans 45 to 64--the age bracket of most RV buyers.GENE G. MARCIAL

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